Archive for January 2012

A Surprising Weigh-In

Why am I making the human equivalent of this face right now?

Because I fully expected to gain this week. We had a late Christmas. I slacked up a bit on the eating front. (Stayed strong with exercise, though. Woo hoo!) I was fully prepared to see a gain of a pound or two.


January 13, 2012
Weight: 374.6
Change from Last Week: -1.0 pounds
Change from Highest: -28.2 pounds

I’ll take it.

I’m a slow loser. I’ve known that for a while, and when I go off on tangents and eat too much, I am just exacerbating the problem. I spend too much time waiting for the other shoe to drop and for me to get on the scale and see an amazing gain.

But then I got to thinking about it – I would rather try hard all week and have again than goof off and KNOW why I gained weight. So I am pledging to do this week right.

My goals for next week:

1. Follow my points (including flex points) to a tee. Journal everything!
2. Drink plenty of water.
3. Exercise regularly.

Seems very doable.

And yes, I know that Weight Watchers no longer calls the weekly points Flex Points, but old habits die hard.

In other news, today is Friday the 13th!

If you are a horror fan, like myself, then today is practically a national holiday. I’m very excited that I get to work from home today due to the snow (finally!), and tonight, the missus and I are planning to pop some popcorn and snuggle up on the couch and watch Jason Voorhees disembowel some stupid teenagers. Good times.

One quick note – I held the vote last week to decide who would get the $100, and there was a tie between two organizations. Therefore, I’ll be giving each $50. The winners are the Elephant Sanctuary and 1500 Sanitary Pads for Ugandan Girls. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Let me also share a few links with you this week.

First of all, I finally made (last weekend) a pizza for my 52 Weeks of Pizza! You can read about it on my food blog Stellar Eats.

Josie at Yum Yucky offers proof that working out gives you swagger.

Kerri O at Fit Views shares a paleo mayonnaise recipe. I’m not quite brave enough yet to tackle making my own mayo, but I really do want to try eventually! It’s got to taste better than the chemical-laden stuff you buy in the stores.

Hanlie at Ordinary Abundance describes why she is a hippie. For what it’s worth, I’m apparently a hippie, too.

Come back tomorrow for a giveaway post!

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A First Week Weigh-In

If you are reading this blog as a result of a search you just conducted for weight loss, healthy living, workouts, or any combination therein, welcome! I am very pleased to have you here.

I hold a weekly weigh-in every Friday. It is one of my goals this year to lose this excess weight I have given myself. Right now, my goal weight is 180. I realize as I get closer to this goal, I may reevaluate, and I am fine with that. 180 is just a number that exists in my head so I can imagine, “That’s where I’d like to end up.”

I will point out that I am very broad-shouldered (God help me, I really AM big boned) and six feet tall, so 180 may be WAY too low. Regardless, 180 is what I am shooting for right now. We shall see.

As for how I am losing weight, I’ll write a much more detailed blog post in the coming days, but basically, I am cutting out white sugar, white flour, processed food, preservatives, and as many chemicals as I can.

I have to disclaim right now – the first few days of eating clean were HARD. I wanted nothing more than to say “screw it, I’ll just count calories!” and eat everything in sight.

I did not do this, because experience has shown me that, for me, a calorie is not a calorie is not a calorie. When I was in my mid-20s, that was absolutely the case. I could just eat less of junk and still lose weight. In my mid-30s, I cannot do that.

You will read a lot of bloggers say that where calories come from is irrelevant. For some people, this is true. If you are one of them, however, do not despair. A LOT of us have to eat clean (whether it is no processed foods, increased fruits and veggies, vegan, Paleo, or anything in between) to lose weight.

But the best part of this eating plan? I feel amazing! I have more energy, my skin is less greasy, my fingernails and hair are even growing faster (seriously – I actually noticed this), and when I do eat something “fake” and processed, within five minutes, I feel like crap. Eating clean makes me feel so good, it is now easy to stay on track.

That also said, I’m not gung-ho, which means I do “bend the rules” occasionally. Honestly, this is more for a financial reason than anything else.

I would say that I eat 90% clean, 10% off-plan. It may even be closer to 98/2, and there are many days in a row where I eat 100% clean. However, life is too short to give up soda forever, in my book, so I occasionally treat myself. I don’t view this as going off plan.

I track my food, although I do not, at the moment, count calories or keep up with points. (When I do track, I use Weight Watchers point system. Although I am not a member at the moment, I still think very highly of WW and their point system makes more sense and is easier to me than strict calories.)

My rule of thumb I am currently giving myself is that if I can lose weight by just tracking my food (currently by writing down in a moleskin journal I keep with me at all times), then I’ll continue just tracking. If I stop losing, I become more strict and keep up with points.

This week is a First Week (of the year) Weigh-In.

So, where I do stand right now?

January 6, 2012
Weight: 375.6
Change from Last Week (actually 1-1-12): -0.8 pounds
Change from All-Time Highest (was 402.3 pounds, several years ago): -27.2 pounds

It isn’t a large loss, but it is a loss. This week, I noticed that when I am hungry, I tend to go for nuts and other high-fat foods. They are clean, but they are still full of fat (albeit good fats) and calories. I am not limiting them, but I am going to be more aware of going for fruits and vegetables in the coming week. Hopefully, it will increase my weight loss for next week.

I have decided that for the first Friday weigh-in of every month, I am going to review my 2012 Resolutions and see how I am faring!

1. I am going to weigh less each month.
January’s Goal: Weigh less than 376.4 on February 1st.

To accomplish this, I will continue to work out, eat clean, and be mindful of what food goes into my body.

2. I am going to continue to eat clean.

This one is very subjective, so I am not giving myself a monthly goal. However, I am going to continue blogging about eating clean, so stay tuned.

3. I am going to significantly increase my fitness without a gym membership.

Last year at this time, the gyms were so crowded I couldn’t stand it. This year, my wife and I work out at home. We can get just as good a workout at home as we could in a gym, and it’s free! This one is also subjective, but I will soon report on what we do for a workout.

Just know this – you can workout ANYWHERE.

4. On my food blog, I am going to create a different pizza each week for my 52 Weeks of Pizza Project.
January’s Goal: Create and document four different pizzas.

We’re doing our first pizza tomorrow night. No problem. I LOVE pizza!

5. I am going to obtain my ACE Personal Fitness Certification this year.
January’s Goal: Complete the first two weeks of the ACE 20-week certification program.

Yes, I know there are four weeks in January, but I am going to commit to only finishing two this month. I also am continuing the classes for my second Master’s degree, and I have to plan the curriculum for the classes I am teaching that begin this month. Two weeks will be a nice way to get back into studying.

6. I am going to write at least 10,000 words of fiction per month.
January’s Goal: Finish “plotting” and get those 10,000 words written!

I am a wannabe author. More to the point, I want to be a young adult author. I have a novel I am working on, and I’ve already got around 15,000 words written, but there is a plot snarl coming up I need to get sorted out. I can absolutely do this, though.

For me, the best thing I can do as a writer is to NOT STOP. If I take a few days off for any reason (usually because I hit a wall), it is so easy to just stop. I have to keep writing.

Okay, a few other things. I said back in December if that I could reach 369 by January 1st, I’d donate $100 to my favorite charity, and if I didn’t, I’d donate $100 to a charity that YOU choose. This is the survey. I opened comments to suggest charities, and these were the three that came up. Please vote, and whoever is ahead on

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

All three of these look like good organizations, and I am happy for any of the three to get the money. You have until January 12th to vote. I’ll announce the winner at next Friday’s weigh-in!

And lastly, you have until January 8th to sign up for the very first Healthy Living Postcard Exchange! This is a way to get motivation in the mail. Visit the link above to find out more and learn how to sign up. If you don’t want to join this month, you can, of course, join future months at ANY time.

We’re a week into 2012. How are you resolutions (if you made any) holding up?

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One last ornament…


Okay, please don’t judge for us still having the tree up (Vegas threw us off – it’s coming down this weekend) but we got this awesome Dr. Seuss ornament tonight from Hallmark for 75% off. Seuss is awesome!

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Late Christmas gift. I can’t wait to watch this again!

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A New Year’s Day Weigh-In

I did not lose weight in December. I wish I could say otherwise, but I cannot. I’m not upset or surprised, and frankly, I’m pleased that I did as little damage as I did over the holidays and a trip to Las Vegas!

January 1, 2012
Weight: 376.4
Change from Highest: -26.4 pounds

In early December, I said that I was going to take $100 and donate to charity. If I made 369, it would be a charity of my choice. If I did not, it would be a charity of your choice (except for PETA or a PETA-affiliated terrorist organization, such as ALF).

Clearly, you get to pick the charity that I donate to.

The sky is ALMOST the limit. Again, I will not donate to an organization that I feel is terroristic in practice. PETA fits this category. (Please note: this is not my opinion. There is plenty of public record that shows the ties PETA has with the Animal Liberation Front, among others.)

So, tell me where I’m going to give my money.

The charity I would have given my money to is the Elephant Sanctuary, a nonprofit in Tennessee that rehabilitates and houses former Circus elephants.

Please leave a comment on this post, telling me what organization(s) you want me to give this $100 to. I may not have made my goal, but some worthwhile organization out there is still going to benefit. I will close comments on Thursday night (January 5, 2012) at 10 p.m. Central time, and at my regular Friday weigh-in on January 6th, I’ll post a voting poll so you can decide. Whoever is in the lead on January 12th at 10 p.m. Central time is who will get the money. If no one leaves a comment, I’ll give the money to the Elephant Sanctuary.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the organization is. It doesn’t matter if the organization is aligned with my political or personal views (again, except for PETA). Just let me know where my money should go, and that’s where it may go, depending upon the voting outcome!

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)